Patrick Arena was the main sports arena located in the Victoria, British Columbia area. The wood constructed arena was located in the suburb of Oak Bay, on the north east corner of Cadboro Bay Road and Epworth Street (then called Empress Street).
Built in 1911 at a cost of $110,000 with a capacity for 4,000 spectators, it officially opened with public skating on December 25, 1911. More than 600 skaters enjoyed the thrill of opening day. The owners, Frank and Lester Patrick, built the arena primarily to accommodate their hockey team in the newly formed Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA).
The first professional hockey game played at the Patrick Arena on January 2, 1912 was between the New Westminster Royals and the hometown Victoria Senators. This was likely the first professional game on artificial ice in Canada.
In 1913 the Victoria Senators were renamed as the Victoria Aristocrats.
In 1916 the Patrick Arena was commandeered by the Canadian military and the hockey team was forced to move to Spokane, Washington to play as the Spokane Canaries. When the military left, a new team was formed in 1918 and again was dubbed the Aristocrats.
In 1923 they changed their name to the Victoria Cougars and when the PCHA disbanded in 1924 they moved to the Western Canada Hockey League (WCHL). The 1925 Stanley Cup Finals saw the Western Canada Hockey League champion Victoria Cougars defeat the National Hockey League (NHL) champion Montreal Canadiens 3 games to 1 in the best-of-five game series. Games one, three and four were played at the Patrick Arena. A marker commemorating the Victoria Cougars' 1925 Stanley Cup victory is located across the road.
The next year the Western Canada Hockey League was renamed as the Western Hockey League with the Victoria Cougars winning the league championship again. In Victoria's second Stanley Cup Final the Montreal Maroons were too strong, out scoring Victoria 10 to 3 and handily beating them three games to one at the newly built Montreal Forum. The Western Hockey League folded following the 1925–26 season bringing an end to professional hockey in Greater Victoria until October 2004 .
Hockey Innovations Edit
The Patrick Brothers were innovators in the evolution of the rules of the game. The following rules are credited to the Patrick's in the arena
- Introduction of the forward pass
- Introduction of the blue line
- Introduction of the penalty shot
- Introduction of changing on the fly
- Introduction of recording assists
- Elimination of rule requiring goalie to stand upright
- Introduction of numbers on jerseys
- Introduction of post-season playoffs
- Introduction of the farm system
The arena was destroyed by a fire in the pre-dawn hours of November 11, 1929; it was believed to be deliberately set.
- Cyclone Taylor: A Hockey Legend by Eric Whitehead
- The History of the Municipality of Oak Bay, by G. Murdoch (1968), taken from the Corporation of the District of Oak Bay website
- Victoria Hockey History provided by the Victoria Sports Hall Of Fame
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